Law Enforcement Increases Patrols on NYE

If you plan to go out on New Year's Eve to ring in the new year, law enforcement officials want to remind you to be safe.  They will be out patrolling the streets to make sure everyone is being safe.

"During the holiday season we make it to where we're watching closer and looking for people," Officer Brandie Banda with the Wichita Falls Police Department said.

Last year, Officer Banda said they made 16 DWI arrests during the month of December.  This year, they have made 10.  She added that this isn't out of the ordinary because more people are out having a good time with family and friends.

She said, "We know people are going to be out partying and celebrating and stuff and so we want to be on the roads so that we can look for people and make the roads safe for everybody."

Officers are looking for drivers swerving, changing lanes frequently, going above or below the speed limit, running stop signs, or red lights.

Officer Banda said she believes people get behind the wheel while intoxicated because of poor planning.

"They get there, they have, they plan on just having one or two, that turns into three or four and of course your judgement goes down when you introduce alcohol into a situation," she said.

She said people think they are okay to drive, but, really, they're not.

Unfortunately, sometimes drinking and driving can turn into a nightmare.  Every year we see news headlines about car accidents because of drunk driving.  It's something everyone can avoid by not doing it.

Officer Banda recommended having a designated driver, or having someone you can call to come and pick you up.  She said you can also call a taxi service.

If you're on the road and you see someone who you think could be under the influence, call 911.

"Get as much information as you can, get a tag number, a vehicle description, which direction they're going, where they may be headed, what area of town," Officer Banda said.

Once you give them all of the information, get away from the driver.  Officer Banda said you should never follow them.  If they are involved in an accident, you don't want to put yourself in danger and become a part of it.

This New Year's Eve their could be another concern while you're on the road.

"One thing we do want to stress, especially with the chance of bad weather and bad road conditions this New Year's Eve is to plan ahead," she said.

She said to make sure you have a plan of what you are going to do and where you are going to go before you leave your residence.

If you are caught driving while under the influence, you will face jail time.  Don't forget a DWI doesn't just cover alcohol.  It also covers drugs.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6